Vancouver Victory Football Club are just 2 points away from clinching their first-ever Evergreen Premier League Championship as they prepare to play the Spokane Shadow at 7 PM on Saturday night at Harmony Sports Complex in Vancouver. The Shadow won the league in 2014 and 2015 but were eliminated last week from 2016 contention.
Vancouver comes into Saturday’s match with 29 points on a 9-0-2 record. Their unbeaten status includes a glistening defensive record of just 7 goals allowed over 11 matches. The club is extremely well-balanced, spreading their 24 goals scored over 14 different players. It’s not often you see a first-place club whose leading scorers (Erick Urzua, Jesse Martin) have 3 goals each.
Head Coach Aaron Lewis has constructed a motivated side out of players mainly from Washington and Oregon. He has pushed the group to focus weekly on simple tasks and remembering their roles within the team structure. He has also not forgotten how last season started so promising for Vancouver and then went terribly wrong. He’s determined to not have this season end the same way.
Players available to V2FC this weekend:
“Our players continue to find ways to get results,” Lewis told V2FC.com earlier this season. “With that said, I believe what’s exciting is recognizing there are a lot of areas these guys can still improve on heading into the second half. I see their hunger to develop in trainings, and if that mentality continues, we have a chance at having a special year.”
Last seasonV2FC bolted out to a 7-0-0 start before collapsing in the second half of the season with a 1-5-1 mark and an eventual third place finish. Vancouver’s ghosts of 2015 may finally be put to rest this weekend.
All time Vancouver have a 2-2-1 record against the Spokane Shadow, including a 3-0 win earlier this season in Spokane.
Vancouver’s 2 needed points can come in various ways. On Saturday night in Yakima at 6:30 PM at Marquette Stadium Bellingham United will face Yakima United FC. The Hammers of BUFC are in second place with 22 points off of a 7-3-1 record. They have no room for error. The Victory will anxiously be connected for updates from this match – if Yakima can get just a draw, then that clinches the title for Vancouver no matter what they do a half hour later against Spokane. Vancouver holds several tiebreakers over Bellingham.
If Vancouver should lose to or draw with Spokane and Bellingham beats Yakima, then we will reset for Sunday when Vancouver travels up to Bremerton to play the Olympic Force at 4:30 PM at Gordon Field and Bellingham United travels over to Tacoma to play South Sound FC at Harry Lang Stadium at 4 PM.